We read more and more about it: Google Assistant, the newest speech aid from Google. Your own Siri, Google Home or Alexa, but with more options for the business market. From July 26 in the Netherlands under the Dutch name Google Assitent. What can we actually do with it? Is it actually interesting as the next marketing channel that you as a company have to respond to? Or is it cucumber news?
What is Google Assistant?
Google Assistant is the newest voice application from Google. You can ask the Assistant questions and give assignments. This assistant also takes initiative: the assistant tells you early in the morning on the way to the office whether there are traffic jams. And if you have an important business meeting, the assistant will remind you.
Fair is fair: the assistant looks a lot like Siri, Amazon Alexa and other assistants. Yet this assistant is smarter. Google has quite a lot of data in-house. That way the helper can help with many things. Ask a question and Google Assistant has an answer.
The possibilities of Google Assistant
Google Assistant sounds handy, but what can you do with it? You can actually do everything you want with it. A kind of database with more than 1 million actions has been created. Do you want to set the alarm? No problem, Google Assistant can do that. Would you like to know what the weather will be? Ask the assistant!
These functions may sound a bit basic. Let's make it much harder. Suppose you want to know which tasks your employees or colleagues have already completed in Asana. Then you connect to 'Zoya Office'and just ask the assistant. It is almost a real secretary.
How do you turn on the Google Assistant?
To activate Google Assistant, touch and hold the home button. Don't have a Google Assistant yet? Then download it from the App Store from Google Play. The assistant is not only available for Android, but also for iOS. Downloading the app is enough to activate the assistant.
Why Dutch companies are participating now
Since the arrival of Google Assistant, a number of companies have already embraced the new voice app. This way, customers of Eneco and Essent pass on their meter readings by voice. In addition, they can ask the smart thermostat Toon to turn the heating down one degree. Taco van den Elskamp, Customer Digital Lead at Eneco, has great expectations that the trend for speech technology will soon also spread to the Netherlands.
Also airline Transavia started working with Google Assistant. It is now possible to request flight information. Handy for when you just need to know something before you go on a business trip. In the next version, for example, it is possible to request the waiting time at the security. Transavia will use Schiphol's waiting times API for this. According to the airline, it is a 'wonderful way to start a conversation with the customer'.
Naturally follows KLM, which comes with 'Blue Bot'. With this, a flight can be booked directly on KLM.com. KLM goes much further than Transavia and wants the smart assistant to be helpful, friendly, professional and daring. The more you talk to the assistant, the smarter and more personal she becomes.
Google Assistant is also being used more and more in the media. RTL brings the news via the speech app, by responding to the question: "What is the news?" and at the NOS the user can request the latest radio news. Qmusic the assistant even used as a sidekick on the radio for a morning.
Voice Search marketing is next level
The madness about Google Assistant is therefore complete, but what is the use of it as an entrepreneur? You could take a look at Voice Search marketing. This works in the same way as search engine marketing, but with the voice. Brands and advertisers can position themselves better by wondering if the keywords are correct as commands, questions and specific words. The words 'best' and 'cheapest' are regularly invoked. In short: the user must be able to have a real conversation with the assistant and Google Assistant must conjure up the best result. There is a lot of work to do with a lot of trial and error, but it offers great opportunities in the longer term. Certainly now that more and more people are asking questions with their voice, instead of with a search engine.
Voice search marketing expectations
- According to Comscore, 50% of all searches in 2020 will be via voice. According to Gartner, 30% will even happen without a screen.
- Currently, 1 in 6 Americans owns a voice-controlled speaker, according to Edison Research and NPR. 35.8% of the millennials use voice-controlled digital assistants at least once a month, according to eMarketer, compared to 10.1% by baby boomers.
- One in five (American) consumers made a purchase via Amazon Echo or another digital assistant with voice. And an additional 33% is expected to do this next year, according to Walker Sands.
Voice like Blue Ocean
Voice-controlled technology is still relatively new in the Netherlands. It can be seen as a 'blue ocean': an as yet unknown and unexplored market space, where there is plenty of room to create value. The interesting thing about this is that search engine marketers now have to focus much more on 'conversational queries': questions that can come from a normal conversation. From those questions come follow-up questions, where a suitable answer must also come. For users, voice offers a springboard to finally stop staring at screens.
This is also an exciting time for Google itself. Google must create separate, unique algorithms to provide a relevant answer for each question. The way we use keywords is changing.
Is Google Assistant a good idea for your company or not? Try it yourself as a consumer and be critical of the system. Do you get really relevant answers and what does this assistant 'hear'? And how does the assistant deal with it? The customer places a microphone in his or her house, which responds using algorithms that are never released. You do not know what exactly Google is holding.
On the other hand, speech technology is becoming increasingly larger and offers opportunities. According to an expert, we could even communicate more politely by using 'thank you' as the trigger word. Consider what the development of voice search marketing offers opportunities for your company. You might regret not participating.